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An instruction manual for deodorant use

For all our sakes, please pass this on to the teenagers and young adults in your life! Antiperspirants are designed to prevent you from sweating under your arms and, unless you are taking part in active sports or it is sweltering hot, they do the job quite well. Notice that I said prevent. That implies…

Saying good-bye to my team

Look at the picture below. They look like some random group of ordinary people, don’t they? They vary in age, background, marital status, sexual orientation, interests, hobbies … they’re a motley crew. They’re some of the members of the team of teachers at the International School Groningen; the picture was taken at our end-of-year staff…

On hearing “F**king Jew!”

That title caught your attention, didn’t it? Let me explain… I was talking to a teenager the other day – if you’ve read this blog before, you know I spend a lot of time with teenagers, both at home and at school – and he said something that shocked me to the core. He was…

A travel post … sort of

There’s travel … and there’s travel with teenagers. I’m not talking about my own teenagers this time, though. I can handle them. I’m talking about other people’s teenagers: a school trip. To put it mildly, chaperoning school trips is not one of my favorite things! The basic problem, I think, is the mismatch between what…

The public-private privacy divide

Tell me your age and I’ll tell you how much you care about privacy. Okay, perhaps it’s not as clear-cut as that sentence indicates, but there’s certainly a correlation. I have two Facebook identities. One is personal: out of concern for my own privacy, I’ve limited everything I’ve posted there to be seen only by…

Repost: Rude Teenagers!

Note: This was one of my earliest posts on this blog, from a time when I had a total of about three readers. I wrote it in April 2007, when I was in charge of organizing an exchange between my school here in the Netherlands and a school in Romania. We were busy with the…

My mid-life crisis

A friend of mine broke her foot several weeks ago and, after an operation, was ordered to stay off her feet entirely for ten weeks. While I certainly don’t envy her the pain and medical procedures she’s had to go through, I found myself envying her the time she’s had just to read and think….

A racism expiration date?

[:en]Perhaps a fat, black woman who is a good cook will be just a fat, black woman who is a good cook, not a symbol of oppression, present or past.[:]